cleverly designed mazes disguised as levels are the
star of the show. Throughout the games 10 chapters
you will smash, bash, kick, taser and shoot your way
through an apartment building, subway station, library,
dilapidated department store and a school to name
a few. The detailed environments are downright anal
retentive - how many games feature mud and tape already
sanded on the drywall for goodness sake? Everywhere
you look you'll discover little touches of reality
which only seek to immerse you further in this photorealistic
nightmare. The levels are kept tight and confining
to magnify the feeling of claustrophobia as you wander
narrow passage ways and navigate hundreds of dark
corners in the anticipation of something or someone
already aware of your presence just waiting for you....It's
classic horror movie 'Don't go in there!!' kind of
stuff, but of course you have no choice; you have
to go in there if you want to complete the level.
You'll probably rely on the tried and true, keep your
back to the wall methodology, but you'll feel positively
naked when you enter a room that opens up to both
directions. The only rule is that you must play CCO
in the dark with the sound cranked. Anything less
than that and you're a big baby. If you just can't
bring yourself to play it that way, check your birth
certificate. Are you sure you're old enough to be
playing this M rated game?
moves around the level at a decent click but he can
sprint if he needs to. Thomas can block , kick, attack
as well as shoot a Taser to temporarily stun enemies.
Without any ammo pickups in the game, once you're
out of bullets, you're done with that weapon. The
Taser can definitely buy you some time. Use of forensic
tools for data collection are also required but take
note that you can, and will be attacked while using
them, so be careful. Control is extremely pick up
and play and while many might not care for the FPS
perspective in a game that relies so heavily on melee
fighting, it simply manages to put you face first
into this freaking horror show. I love it. It works
previously released and equally as disturbing F.E.A.R.
for the PC was one of this years hottest (and scariest)
looking games. I'm frankly amazed that they were able
to create two of the most compelling gaming experiences
of 2005 and have them released so close together.
Visually Condemned in high def is nothing short of
jawdropping. I would often catch myself just reading
the signage or investigating the little details, simply
because there was so much to see. Everything from
the ornate design of the train station, the decaying
plaster walls with peeling paint, the cliched kitty
cat 'Hang In There Baby' office posters, the discolored
ceiling titles, taped boxes, the cardboard Santa Clauses
decorating Bart's department store, the shrinkwrapped
books waiting for distribution in the library...the
environments in COO are painstakingly detailed.
The character models are all disturbing in their own
way whether they are human or not and I give Monolith
credit for creating characters who weren't digital
representations of Hollywood wannabes. Thomas is a
middle-aged, heavy set FBA agent with a pugnose which
is in direct opposition to the pretty boy cops on
the lam ala Max Payne / Jack Slate (Dead To Rights).
Rosa, his partner is equally homely which I thought
was absolutely wonderful. I was expecting the usual
hot female partner but I was pleasantly surprised
that the hardnosed reality of the game trickled down
to the characters themselves as it's the only subject
matter that keeps this bizarre story grounded. The
various thugs and creatures you'll encounter are equally
as impressive. You'll find more variety in the human
thugs than some of the cookie cutter monsters, but
that doesn't make them any less startling when they
appear out of nowhere to attack you. My personal favorite
was 'Lunch Lady Doris'.
also uses ambient sound effects to sustain the tension
of the game at Red Alert. Those with Dolby 5.1 or
at least with good speakers will get the most out
of Condemned's abuse of your auditory faculties. Footsteps,
screams and whispers will keep you on the edge of
your seat because aside from the demented 'Deck The
Halls' in Bart's Department store, you won't be treated
to any ingame music soundtrack. Unfortunately the
voice acting is extremely hit and miss. The script
isn't bad at all, but the emotionless delivery contradicts
the onscreen tension. Let me just say that in regards
to earlier Sega games like House Of The Dead and Capcom's
original Resident Evil, CCO's voice acting comes off
like an Academy Award winner, but I've definitely
speaking there really isn't much I can complain about,
although I'm sure some gamers would find the pace
a little repetitive. The game does lose some points
for it's linear nature because you know you're being
lead down the garden path to the end of the level
while Thomas' "instincts" manage to take
the fun out of deciding when to use your forensic
tools. I also found it odd that nobody wants to bring
our poor hero a gun. Everytime he has a clandestine
meeting with some major figure in the game, he walks
away empty handed and starts the level with zippo.
The glitches in the X360 version seem to have been
eradicated which is definitely a good thing. Someone
around here was whining that the game was entirely
too repetitive and consisted only of the following:
up bad guys
above to taste
the end of the level
should be noted however that all games can easily
be stripped down to their basic elements, but it's
how the game plays out inbetween these factors which
determines the entertainment value.
has all of the gameplay, story, visuals and atmosphere
that you could possibly want in a mystery game and
I think does them all to a proverbial "t".
It's not the longest game you'll have ever played
the first time through (10 hours or so), but since
it offers a selection of difficulty modes, the robust
roster of collectibles which unlock movies that shed
more light on just the hell is going on and rewards
you for meeting various objectives, there is a decent
dose of replay value. Monolith is definitely onto
something and I can see Condemned: Criminal Origins
becoming a franchise along the lines of Silent Hill
featuring changing protagonists. If you've already
played CCO on the X360, there is absolutely no reason
to return again. But if you're a thrillseeker who
isn't afraid of things that scream in the darkness,
you just found your next challenge.
view gives maximum visceral effect.
lighting, mapping, and filtering techniques provide
for environments of unprecedented detail and visual
enemies respond strategically to your offensive
and defensive maneuvers.
physics allow players to manipulate background items,
which respond realistically when picked up, kicked,
tightly wound story is backed with strong character
development and major plot twists.
crafted 5.1 surround sound will cue players to the
location of off-screen enemies.
updated: You know how the police department
always likes to complicate things? You know....like
they have a bunch of different guys that handle
certain jobs. One guy is in forensics, one guy is
a profiler, one guy is a detective... Total beauracratic
red tape my friends! You can thank the teamsters
Union for that nonsense.
Monolith and Sega's upcoming action thriller, Condemned:
Criminal Origins, you'll play as an officer of the
law who can do all of those jobs himself. Ultimately
that just means more donuts for you, tubby!
job is to catch a series of violent serial killers
(are there any other kind?) and you will need cool
toys, weapons, fists and smarts to bring him to
justice. Either that or access to the Batsignal
and let the Dark Knight handle it. That way you'll
have more time to play with your new Xbox 360.
game will be played in the first person viewpoint,
and from what we've heard, it will be definitely
one to play with the lights off and the sound cranked.
However it won't be your typical FPS, in fact, Sega
and Monolith aren't even referring to the game as
a first person shooter. While you will have the
opportunity to wield deadly firearms in the game,
melee combat will feature more heavily than shooting.
Melee fighting in the first person perspective can
be done quite effectively if you think back to Namco's
innovative Breakdown and Starbreeze's incredibly
entertaining Chronicles of Riddick game.
secret report from Mr. StewXX, whom we haven't heard
from in awhile says that he has seen this game in
action and that "we'll all freak out because
it's insanely atmospheric. Think Silent Hill but
ramped up in every department - the visuals, especially
the animation are stunning."
described a scene in which the lead character encountered
a weaponless enemy, who turned tail, ripped a shelve
off the wall, knocking the contents to the ground,
and used the support beam from the unit to attack.
He also mentioned that detective work will play
a very important role - hunting for clues
and using items such as a fingerprint scanner and
footprint detector will figure very highly in the
end result.Condemned sounds like it might be more
along the lines of a violent adventure game, rather
than a mindless first person shooter/fighter.
imagining a playable version of Se7en, but minus
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and all of the bad
acting. Yeah, that would rock!
tuned for the E3, for more information and media.